As much as sleep is an important aspect of human growth and development, many people struggle with it. Insomnia relates to sleeping disorders that may include total lack of sleep, poor sleeping patterns or waking up in the middle of the night and inability to fall asleep once you get into bed. Unfortunately lack of sleep has detrimental effects on our well-being and this can range from depression to unproductivity. There are ways that you can help to reduce this habit and get the 7-9 hours of sleep recommended by health experts.
1. Create and monitor your sleep program
Many people have proper schedules for various activities but very few have specific sleep programs. A sleep program can help you control the amount of sleep you are getting and identify the triggers that cause poor sleeping patterns. Even if you seek professional help for your insomnia, your therapist can use your sleep program to devise suitable treatment.
You should therefore endeavor to sleep and wake up at specific times every day including the weekends. You also need to have a sleep journal where you record everything concerning your sleeping patterns and habits.
Unknown to many people, sleep and exercise blend in perfectly. Sleep is vital for anyone who desires to lose some kilos because it is during the night that the body regenerates. Exercise also helps to enhance sleep especially if you engage in soft movements such as stretches, yoga and breathing exercises. You can do these exercises at least three hours before your bedtime so that your body falls into sleep mode.
3. Eat right
Food can either enhance better sleeping habits or cause insomnia. Consuming foods that are rich in Vitamin B can help you sleep better. These include green and leafy vegetables that contain magnesium and taurine. Heavy meals might also cause blotting and result in insomnia hence must be avoided in the evenings.
You should also avoid consumption of alcohol and caffeine before bedtime. In fact, these products should be avoided in the afternoon as they can cause the body to be excited and interfere with sleep patterns.
4. Shut off your screens and dim lights in your room
Research shows that exposure to bright screens and lights can cause insomnia. This is why you are advised to switch off your television and laptops at least half an hour to your bedtime. Furthermore, you ought to dim off the lights in every room of your house as this sets you in the sleeping mood. Working from your bed is a complete no-no as it enhances insomniac behavior.
Reading before bed time has been known to enhance healthy sleeping patterns. However, you must select your bedside literature with care as some books can have the opposite effect. Avoid anything scary or intensive at night and instead focus on a positive and soothing bedtime reading list.
6. Do not rack the brain
Engaging your brain in active thinking and tasks just before bed is a recipe for insomnia. Do not indulge in crossword puzzles, games, calculating bills and thinking through your problems before going to bed. Instead, you should shut out any noise and get involved in light activities to shut off your brain and encourage sleep.
7. Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Insomnia
If your insomnia is stress-related, you might consider getting the cognitive behavior therapy for insomniacs. This therapy can help you to identify the actual problems in your life that causes sleeping disorders and how to deal with them.
8. Deal with stress
It is necessary to find a way to deal with the stress in your life as this is one of the biggest causes of insomnia. You can do this by venting it out in a journal, speaking to a loved one about it or letting it cool without overindulging in negative thoughts.
9. Warm baths and essential oils
Warm baths and application of essential oils such as lavender can help you sleep better. This conventional method of inducing and encouraging sleep can help your body relax and cool down hence setting the right mode for sleep.
10. Seek medical help
Medication for sleep should be your last alternative to insomnia. Depending on your problems, a medical doctor can prescribe proper medication that helps you to sleep. Such medication should be taken according to the instructions issued to avoid adverse side effects such as addiction.
Everyone has their own sleeping patterns and methods that work to induce sleep. You should not be discouraged or blame yourself for insomnia. Instead, try finding the proper solution to your sleeping problems. You must also encourage yourself to think of sleep in a positive light and whenever you can get a 10-20minute nap before 3 pm.